Bloody Lane

Jamie  Armbruster

Anacoco, United States

  • Available
  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 1


Artist's Description

The late afternoon/evening light flooded the landscape. The quiet serenity and the soft light lent this monumental, historic location of the Antietam Battlefield an ethereal, sacred feeling. Stepping down into the sunken road, and knowing the unimaginable suffering of the men who fought and died, I had a major case of goosebumps. This is the Sunken Road, aka Bloody Lane of Antietam:

The morning battle at Antietam shifted directions several times and eventually became centered in the middle of Lee’s line, a country road that divided the property of two local farmers. Now, it served as a rifle pit for 2 Confederate brigades.
The road was ordered held at all costs. The Federals tried numerous times to overrun the road, unit after unit falling back under the rain of fire from the Confederate position. Finally, a vantage point was reached where the Union troops could fire down upon the road’s defenders. It became like shooting animals in a slaughter pen and “Bloody Lane” soon filled with bodies, stacked four and five feet deep.

The slaughter at Bloody Lane became one of the most memorable and tragic events of the battle, thanks to the participation of the 69th of New York, soldiers known as the “Irish Brigade”. The Union troops attacking the road were in serious trouble when they saw the emerald banner of the Irish Brigade appear on the horizon. The Irish announced their arrival with the sounds of drums and volleys of fire as they attacked the Confederate position. The Brigade screamed loudly and shouted a battle cry that sounded like “Fah-ah-bah-lah”, which is Gaelic for “Clear the Way!” and is spelled Faugh-a-Balaugh.
The Brigade fought fiercely and fell in huge numbers. They fired all of the ammunition they had and then collected what they could from the dead and wounded and fired that too. Eventually their cries of “Faugh-a-Balaugh” became fainter and the Irish Brigade lost more than 60 percent of their men that day…. and wrote their name in the bloody pages of American history.

Over the years, Bloody Lane has become known as one of the most eerie places on the battlefield. Strange events have taken place here which lead many to believe that events of the past are still being replayed today. Reports over the years tell of the sounds of phantom gunfire echoing along the sunken road and the smell of smoke and gunpowder which seems to come from nowhere.

But perhaps the most famous story involves a group of boys from the McDonough school in Owings Mills, Maryland, They toured the battlefield and ended the day at Bloody Lane. The boys were allowed to wander about and think about what they had learned that day. They were asked to record their impressions for a history assignment and some wrote brief remarks and poems…. but the comments that got the most attention from the teacher were from the boys who described hearing shouts that came from Bloody Lane. Some of them said that it sounded like a chant and others described the sounds as someone singing a Christmas song… like “Deck the Halls”.
Most specifically, they described the words as sounded like the part of the song that goes “Fa-la-la-la-la”. The singing came strongly and then faded away.
But what if the singing had not been a Christmas song at all…. but the sounds of the Irish Brigade “clearing the way”?

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.